| Rheumatoid Arthritis
and Nightshade Vegetables
by Jeffrey Dach MD
Susan, a Young Woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Susan, a 46 year old female retired nurse arrived in my office with a chief complaint of joint pain, involving the hands. Susan was post menopausal, and had been taking prednisone (a synthetic steroid) for her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Susan’s blood test panel was positive for rheumatoid factor.
Above left: The Tomato is a Nightshade Vegetable, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The pain in her fingers is so severe, Susan finds it helpful to immerse her hands in a bucket of ice water in the middle of the night. Physical examination shows swollen inflamed joints of the fingers (DIP and PIP joints).
Left image : Xray of fingers. Red Arrows show synovial erosions, commonly seen in Rheumatoid Arthritis, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Susan was started on bioidentical hormones including Bi-Est (estrogen), Progesterone, Testosterone and DHEA. She was also given LDN (low dose naltrexone) a 4.5 mg capsule taken each night before sleep.
Susan did a little better, with some improvement, yet continued to have joint pain. Susan consulted several rheumatologists, and was prescribed methotrexate, a mainstay immunosuppressive medical treatment. This drug helped her greatly. However, she was worried about the long term adverse effects of methotrexate, and wanted to get off the drug, if possible.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Cured with NightShade-Free Diet
A few months later, Susan came into my office, exclaiming she is pain free, and was off all the dreaded prednisone and methotrexate drugs.
I said , ” Hey that’s Great !!! How did you do it?”
Susan said, “I eliminated Night-Shade vegetables from my diet. And now I am pain free.”
Tom, a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis On AZT,
Recovery on Gluten Free, Nightshade Free Diet, Vitamin K, LDN and Testosterone
On examination, Tom’s hands and knee joints were visibly swollen, and tender with active inflammation. He was able to walk and to get up from a sitting position with difficulty, indicating muscle weakness from the AZT drug.
Going Gluten Free, Nightshade Free
Tom was advised to go on a gluten-free and nightshade-free diet, and supplement with Vitamin K2 and Omega 3 Fish Oil. Tom’s serum testosterone was below 300, so he was given testosterone replacement, as well.
My previous article discussed the connection between autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis with Gluten Sensitivity, and the benefits of a gluten-free diet. Multiple Sclerosis and Myasthenis Gravis patients should also go Gluten-Free, as well, since these are autioimmune disease which will benefit from a Gluten Free Diet.
The “Nightshade Vegetabes” are a food group implicated in both osteo-oarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are the Night-Shade Foods, and How Do They Cause Arthritis?
This is a group of plants including Tomatoes, Potatoes, Egglant, Peppers and Tobacco.
Nightshade Foods Contain Drug-like Substances
These plants have pharmacological activity and actually contain four types of alkaloid drugs:
(1) the steroid alkaloids including solanine (solanum-type glycoalkaloids)
Left Image: Red Arrow points to Atropa belladonna, Solanaceae, Deadly Nightshade. This poison plant is native to Europe and North Africa and contains the tropane alkaloids, scopalamine and atropine, courtesy of Wikimedia commons.
The Nightshade Book by Norman Childers
Dr Norman Childers is the most vocal and dedicated anti- Nightshade reseacher. Childers has authored many scientific articles and published the definitive book:
Two Health Problems with the NightShades:
1) Muscle Spasm, Pain Tenderness Inflammation
The NightShades contain drug-like substances including solanine in potato and eggplant, tomatine in tomato, nicotine in tobacco, and capsaicin in garden peppers. These drugs may cause paralytic-like muscle spasm, aches, pains, tenderness, inflammation, and stiff body movements.
2) Soft Tissue Calcification Around the Joints
Garrett Smith on Nightshades, From Weston Price Web Site(8)
The Drug in Nightshades isCalcitriol
- a Highly Active Form of Vitamin D that Causes Soft Tissue Calcifications
Nightshades contain calcitriol, a highly active form of Vitamin D, (Five times more effective than D3). This highly potent calcitriol causes hypercalcemia, and soft tissue calcification.(8) Over-consumption of calcitriol from nightshade foods can lead to calcium deposits in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cardiovascular tissues, kidneys and skin.
One such Nightshade plant commonly found in Florida contains 1,25 hydroxy-cholecalciferol (calcitriol), and causes soft tissue calcification. This is Cestrum Diurnum (see left image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Consumption of nightshade calcitriol drug can cause chronic hypercalcemia which leads to generalized soft tissue calcification. If this occurs in the joints, it results in arthritis. Osteo-arthritis, under this hypothesis, is caused by deposition of calcium in the soft tissues of joints. If calcium is deposited in the wall of the arteries to the heart, this is called coronary artery disease.
High Coronary Artery Calcium Score ?
If you have a high calcium score in your coronary arteries, it is advisable to avoid Nightshade Foods, and supplement with extra Vitamin K2.(15-19) Vitamin K2 (and not K1) prevents and reverses the soft tissue and arterial calcification caused by Nightshade Foods.(15-19) The other form of Vitamin K, K1, is not effective, however.
Rheumatoid Arthritis ?
Vitamin K2 was also found beneficial for Rheumatoid Arthritis. (20) Omega 3 Fish oil is also useful in reducing inflammation.
Nightshades Cause or Worsen Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A study from Patel published in 2002 showed that glycoalkaloids in fried potatoes caused inflammatory bowel disease in an animal model in mice. Any patients with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis are advised to avoid the Nightshades.
Treatment Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
1) Gluten-Free and Nightshade-Free Diet (may need Dairy-Free Diet as well)
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Links and References
Excellent Overview article
What are nightshades? As a botanical family, the Solanaceae comprise some ninety-two genera with over two thousand species. Its members include many stimulating, medicinal, or poisonous plants, such as tobacco, henbane, mandrake, and belladonna (also known as the deadly nightshade). The food plants of the nightshade family include some of our most popular vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers of all kinds (green, red, chili, paprika, cayenne, hot and sweet, except for black and white pepper.) Research has found that when people with joint pains stopped consuming all varieties of nightshades, their condition improved dramatically.
Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1993) 12:227-231
Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people.
This family includes
A buildup of cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroids from consumption and/or use (tobacco) of the nightshades and from other sources such as caffeine and some pesticides (organophosphates and carbamates) may cause inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis appears to be a result of long-term consumption and/or use of the Solanaceae which contain naturally the active metabolite, vitamin D3, which in excess causes crippling and early disability (as seen in livestock). Rigid omission of Solanaceae, with other minor diet adjustments, has resulted in positive to marked improvement in arthritis and general health.
Avoiding the Invisible FLAME of Pain & Inflammation Avoiding the Invisible Flame of Pain and Inflammation by Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C., EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist
pdf poster on nightshades
Dr Clifford Wolf HArvard Nature 449, 607-610 (4 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06191; Received 21 June 2007; Accepted 28 August 2007 Inhibition of nociceptors by TRPV1-mediated entry of impermeant sodium channel blockers
Alexander M. Binshtok1, Bruce P. Bean2 & Clifford J. Woolf1 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
testimonial from message board of lady who recovered once eliminating nightshades Potato arthritis.Solanaceae Arthritis Musculo-skeletal Toxicity .
vitamin K and Coronary artery calcification, soft tissue calcification
A high dose of vitamin K2 (100 mg/kg b.w.) inhibited the increase in the aortic Ca and P or in the renal Ca and P induced by vitamin D2, and a low dose of vitamin K2 (10 mg/kg b.w.) showed the same tendency, but the degree of the efficacy was small. It may be suggested that a high dose of vitamin K2 suppressed experimental calcification of soft tissues induced by vitamin D2. Therefore, a pharmacological dose of vitamin K2 might have a usefulness for the prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis with calcification.
We examined whether vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) could affect the progression of both atherosclerosis and hypercoagulability in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Vitamin K2 in daily doses of 1, 10 and 100 mg/kg was given with a 0.5% cholesterol diet for 10 weeks to 8 rabbits each. The plasma levels of total-cholesterol in the vitamin K2-treated groups were clearly lower than that of the hypercholesterolemic control group. The excessive dose of vitamin K2, even at the high dose of 100 mg/kg/day for 10 weeks, did not accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis and did not promote the coagulative tendency in the rabbits.
19) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22489224 FULL TEXT
In this study, we investigated the effect of MK-4 upon the proliferation of rheumatoid synovial cells and the development of arthritis in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We analyzed the effect of MK-4 on the proliferation of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) using the 3-(4,5-demethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The proapoptotic effect of MK-4 upon FLS was investigated with annexin V staining and DNA fragmentation and caspase 3/7 assays. Moreover, we analyzed the effect of MK-4 on the development of CIA in female dark agouti rats.
Our results indicated that MK-4 inhibited the proliferation of FLS and the development of CIA in a dose-dependent manner. We concluded that MK-4 may represent a new agent for the treatment of RA in the setting of combination therapy with other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
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